Pastor Talk: Delighting Grace Interviews Jon Hawkins of Pastor Discussions Podcast (Part 1)

onc7eomThere’s a new podcast on the block and Delighting Grace wants you to tune in. It features a couple pastors having a conversation about doctrine, faith and Christian life. Its’ called Pastor Discussion Podcast. It will hit the internet on January 16 and it will be awesome. So DG talked to Jon Hawkins about the podcast.

Delighting Grace:  Hi Jon, please tell us what’s Pastor Discussion Podcast?

Jon Hawkins: First, let me say thank you for reaching out and inviting us to share what God is doing with your readers. I really appreciate you including us in your blog.

Delighting Grace:  It’s a pleasure helping you guys out.

Jon Hawkins:  The Pastor Discussions Podcast is your weekly conversation about doctrine, faith and the Christian life with a couple of rural pastors. The idea is to invite the listener to join a weekly conversation about issues that they face and that are relevant to their lives. There are a lot of Christian podcasts out there and so we considered whether or not this was even something that was needed.

What we started noticing is that there are sermon podcasts, podcasts with one or two hosts talking with each other, podcasts that are simply interviews with famous people, and podcasts like Ask Pastor John where the pastor fields questions. We wanted to not only let the listeners drive the content through sending us topics for shows, but also include them in the show. We plan on regularly having listeners, fellow pastors, and church members on the show. The aim is a kind of podcast community where people feel like they are a part of the show and give them things to talk about with their friends and family so they can be more active in growing in their faith.

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Delighting Grace:  How did you guys came up with this podcast? Who’s idea was it?

Jon Hawkins:  I have been thinking about it for a while. We have a group of guys that meet together weekly and it’s a time of fellowship and laughter, but we also talk about the Bible or situations we are facing in our lives. At one point one of the guys said “I wish that people could just experience this. That they could just listen and see how natural and beneficial it is to talk about the Bible or Christ with other people who will sharpen and challenge you”. That got me thinking. Our church has grown and we are no longer a small church, but we are also not a big church. We are in this sort of in-between stage and learning how to function that way. There are blessings to growth, but also challenges. Because of that, it is hard to find time to do discipleship with a large part of our congregation like I would like to. At best, I can meet with 4-5 people on a weekly basis and that’s wonderful, but I wanted to produce content that is easily accessible and practical for our church as a whole and is plug and play so it could accommodate people’s schedules.

Delighting Grace:  I think we all struggle with that part and we really need to address it through digital means.

Jon Hawkins:   So I started asking how we could leverage the blessing of technology to not only help address things that Christians in our church face, but also reach a broader population and minister to the Christian community as a whole. So I talked to the two other staff pastors about starting a podcast. We wanted to model what Christian conversations look like as well as give people content to talk about in their homes, to think about throughout the week, and to study in the Bible for themselves. I think a lot of Christians have never experienced what it looks like to talk about doctrine, faith and the Christian life without it feeling forced or cheesy or what it looks like to be sharpened by someone else. There are also others who don’t feel like they could contribute to a conversation like that because they feel they don’t know enough or something like that. I know I felt that way, but there were men in our church when I was a young Christian that invited me into those conversations.

I listened and thought and asked questions and grew as a result of that. A lot of Christian growth comes from talking about God and life, listening, and learning to see the world through the lens of the gospel. So that’s what we wanted to replicate using the medium of podcast. We are hoping that it will spur conversation within homes and friends, but especially that there would be people in our church that ask questions about a show and give us more of an opportunity to walk with them through their relationship with Christ and see it deepen and grow.

Delighting Grace:  Who are the pastors that will be on board on the podcast?

Jon Hawkins:   All three of us staff pastors will be regularly involved. Pastor Joe is our Pastor for Worship and Pastor Jonathan is our Pastor for Family Ministry. Both of them bring something unique to the show and have great perspectives. Joe has a tremendous grasp on worship and outreach and Jonathan is a Biblical Counselor and has a heart to see parents actively involved and leading in the discipleship and evangelism of their children. He is also a gifted writer and is planning on doing some blogging on the Pastor Discussions website. In addition to them, we will also have guest pastors on the show. We have some guys lined up from Chicago, rural Nebraska, Canada, the Dominican Republic and everywhere in between. Guys in cities and guys in small towns. There is also an open invitation to John Piper, Matt Chandler, and Kevin DeYoung, but they must have lost my email address 😉

Delighting Grace:  Whoa, John Piper on your show, that will be awesome!  There are lots of podcast out there in the internet, what makes “Pastor Discussion” unique?

Jon Hawkins:   I think there are a few ways that Pastor Discussions will be unique. First, we want to have listeners drive the content. We want to hear from them on what they want us to talk about and then we will talk about it. We aren’t extremely limited in our scope because the Christian life and the implications of what following Christ means in our daily interactions isn’t limited to one area or topic.

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Second, we are unique in that we want to not only talk about issues, but hear real stories from Christians on how God has been faithful in their lives. We want to help people share their unique experiences of God’s grace and faithfulness to encourage others.

Third, it’s unique because we don’t want a niche. We want to address issues that people of different races and genders care about. We want to minister to a lot of different kinds of Christians. For example, we want to have women on the show and help encourage Christian women to be women of “Velvet Steel” (a term coined by John Piper). We might even be able to talk our wives into being on the show… It’s a long shot, but who knows. We want to have conversations on racism with minority brothers and sisters and address issues that they face and help people understand their perspective and then work talk through what the Bible has to say about that TOGETHER.

Finally, we are unique because of the guys on the show. We are serious when we need to be, but we are friends that like to laugh, joke around, and poke at one another. We are really trying to give people a glimpse into our friendship and the fellowship that flows out of that. We want to be a show where a husband and wife, parents and kids, or a group of friends can sit down together, listen and be entertained and challenged, and then have some good, edifying conversation afterwards about the content.

Delighting Grace: Now that’s something to look forward to. How can listeners interact with you guys to be part of the show?

(To be continued next week. Pastor Discussions Podcast premieres January 16, 2018. Check their website www.pastordiscussions.com to listen to their podcast, subscribe to their mailing list and enter giveaways.)

Help promote Pastor Discussion Podcast: Download and share it on your social media these promotional posters:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/c0p033c6n5f20f8/AADkmN1Mg8r6tTPkaweyBUuqa?dl=0

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Book Review: “Aspire: Transformed by the Gospel Part 1” by Matt Rogers

     This book is such a surprise because I would expect it’s just the usual book format that we all know. But as I open it from the postal package, it was this big journal size book. And as I thumb a few pages, the fonts are big and lots of lines which is where you’ll jot your answer. So this is not a usual book. And so is the content.

Matt Rogers “Aspire” is geared for one on one discipleship by tackling first the very foundation of the Christian faith which is the gospel. This book unravels the basic topics pertaining to the gospel in a 15 week study. The weekly studies discuss the gospel incorporated in some Christian doctrines. The starting point is creation where sin enters and how sin where our worship changes its focus from God to Satan. As the book progresses we see how this gracious and merciful God redeems these fallen worshipers. Of course when discussing doctrine, theological words are needed to be defined. “Aspire” covers that by highlighting these important words and defining it. The book’s later parts prepares the reader to be mission minded and to disciple too.

Now comes the sweaty part: the questions. You need to answers these to get most of the book. The questions on each part of the study are not just your run-of-the-mill passive questions you can get from a study guide in a usual book. Rather these questions will make you think and reflect for a moment. Also some of the questions are quite personal. And if you think this question and answer portion of “Aspire” left all the figuring out to the readers, think again. Chunks of biblical content are explained enough for you to chew and be satisfied on. “Aspire” will aid anyone to a healthy spiritual growth fit to be a disciple of Christ.
“Aspire” is well written, theological rich and personal workbook that will ground you in solid foundation. If you don’t know where to start with your discipleship, this book will definitely get you a jump start. If this book is so good how much more would be the sequel? For a pastor this will be a go to book for a deep one on one discipleship. For the individual Christian, prepare for a book that will pull you into a deep understanding of the redemptive story of God. Highly recommended.
My verdict: 5 out of 5 stars
(I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review)

The Quotable Round-Up #44

Here are some of the quotes from the book “Tactics” by Christian apologist Greg Koukl. If you enjoy this quotes, please feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!
“Without the work of the Spirit, no argument — no matter how persuasive — will be effective. But neither will any act of love nor any simple presentation of the gospel. Add the Spirit, though, and the equation changes dramatically.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Here’s the key principle: Without God’s work, nothing else works; but with God’s work, many things work. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, love persuades. By the power of God, the gospel transforms. And with Jesus at work, arguments convince. God is happy to use each of these methods.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Our job is to communicate the gospel as clearly, graciously, and persuasively as possible. God’s job is to take it from there. We may plant the seeds or water the saplings, but God causes whatever increase comes from our efforts.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Understanding God’s central role in the process removes a tremendous burden. We can focus on our job — being clear, gracious, and persuasive — and then leave the results to God (what I called “100% God and 100% man”).”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Sometimes the little things have the greatest impact. Using simple leading questions is an almost effortless way to introduce spiritual topics to a conversation without seeming abrupt, rude, or pushy.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth

The Quotable Round-Up #43

Here are some of the quotes from the book “Tactics” by Christian apologist Greg Koukl. If you enjoy this quotes, please feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!
“Beware when rhetoric becomes a substitute for substance. You always know that a person has a weak position when he tries to accomplish with the clever use of words what argument alone cannot do.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Always make it a goal to keep your conversations cordial. Sometimes that will not be possible. If a principled, charitable expression of your ideas makes someone mad, there’s little you can do about it. Jesus’ teaching made some people furious. Just make sure it’s your ideas that offend and not you, that your beliefs cause the dispute and not your behavior.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“To be of one mind biblically doesn’t mean that all have to share the same opinion. It means a warm fellowship based on communion with Christ in the midst of differences. It does not mean abandoning all attempts at refining our knowledge by enforcing an artificial unanimity. True maturity means learning how to disagree in an aggressive fashion, yet still maintaining a peaceful harmony in the church.” — Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
” We need to cultivate the ability to disagree with civility and not take opposition personally. We must also have the grace to allow our own views to be challenged with evidence, reasoning, and Scripture. Those who refuse to dispute have a poor chance of growing in their understanding of truth.” — Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“This is a dangerous attitude for the church because the minute one is labeled mean-spirited simply for raising an opposing view, debate is silenced. If we disqualify legitimate discussion, we compromise our ability to know the truth.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Arguments are good, and dispute is healthy. They clarify the truth and protect us from error and religious despotism. When the church discourages principled debates and a free flow of ideas, the result is shallow Chris tian ity and a false sense of unity.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth

The Quotable Round-Up # 42

Here are some of the quotes from the book “The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage” which is part of the series titled “The Gospel for Life”. If you enjoy this quotes, please feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

“If you are characterized by disgust over someone else’s sin rather than being overwhelmed at the forgiveness that God has given you, you are desperately out of touch with the gospel.”-J. D. Greear,The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #jdgreear #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“God’s design for sex, however, was intended to be a tangible representation of an entire relationship. It is meant to reflect a unity between two genders that are other, an image of God’s love for the other—us. Sex is not merely a physical activity, but a reflection of our Creator.”-J. D. Greear,The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #jdgreear #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“We need to recover that side of sexuality, preaching the positive and beautiful dimensions of covenant love and sex. Christians of all people should not be afraid of sex. God designed it and He delights in it. We must recover some of that delight.”-J. D. Greear,The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #jdgreear #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“Every generation inevitably establishes a standard for what is right and wrong. We’re all moral. The gay community is intensely moral. But the worst condemnation given in the Bible is that a certain generation did what was right in their own eyes. “They did what was right,” means a group of people was morally conscious, even morally fervent. But “in their own eyes” means their own sensibilities were the standard. Coming to Jesus means we stop using our hearts as the beginning point for determining what is right and wrong, submitting instead to His Word.”-J. D. Greear,The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #jdgreear #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“But if the biblical view of sexuality is true, how can it be loving to not tell them? If the biblical view is true, it would actually be hateful—or at least severely delinquent cowardice—not to tell them.”-J. D. Greear,The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #jdgreear #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“After all, no one goes to hell for being homosexual. How do I know that? Because no one goes to heaven for being heterosexual. The only choice that puts a person outside of God’s grace is refusing to acknowledge their brokenness and submit to Jesus’ lordship.”-J. D. Greear,The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #jdgreear #thegospelandsamesexmarriage

The Quotable Round-Up # 41

Here are some of the quotes from the book “The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage” which is part of the series titled “The Gospel for Life”. If you enjoy this quotes, please feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!
“Marriage is based in the complementarity of the sexes, and the very real possibility that marriage relationships produce children. Same-sex couples cannot, by definition, produce what society needs: children. This isn’t to be harsh or critical of same-sex attracted persons in general. It is to communicate, however, that the nature of same-sex relationships are never marital, and thus not biblical in any imaginable scenario.”– Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“Marriage is created and defined by God in the Scriptures as the sexual and covenantal union of a man and a woman in lifelong allegiance to each other alone, as husband and wife, with a view to displaying Christ’s covenant relationship to his blood-bought church.”– Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“Those who believe that God has spoken to us truthfully in the Bible should not concede that the committed, lifelong partnership and sexual relations of two men or two women is marriage. It isn’t. God has created and defined marriage. And what He has joined together in that creation and that definition cannot be separated and still called marriage in God’s eyes.”– John Piper, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #johnpiper #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“The husband displays the sacrificial love of Christ’s headship, and the wife displays the submissive role of Christ’s body. The mystery of marriage is that God had this double (of wife and husband) display in mind when He created man as male and female. Therefore, the profoundest reality in the universe underlies marriage as a covenantal union between a man and a woman.”– John Piper, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #johnpiper #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“The good news of Jesus is that God saves heterosexual sinners and homosexual sinners who trust Jesus, by counting them righteous because of Christ, and by helping them through His Spirit to live lives pleasing to Him in their disordered brokenness.”– John Piper, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #johnpiper #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“The heart of Christianity is that God saves sinners through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The best news in all the world is that Jesus Christ died and rose again so that the most bizarre sexual predator—homosexual or heterosexual—can be rescued from his path of destruction, washed, justified, sanctified, and given a place in God’s all-satisfying presence by faith in Jesus Christ. This is the heart of our message.”- John Piper, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #johnpiper #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“The recognition of so-called same-sex marriage would be a clear social statement that motherhood or fatherhood or both are negligible in the public good of raising children. Two men adopting children cannot provide motherhood. And two women adopting children cannot provide fatherhood. But God ordained from the beginning that children grow up with a mother and a father, and said, “Honor your father and your mother” (Exod. 20:12). Tragedies in life often make that impossible. But taking actions to make that tragedy normal may be worth prohibiting by law. That’s a factor to consider.”- John Piper, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #johnpiper #thegospelandsamesexmarriage

Quotable Round-Up # 40

Here are some of the quotes from the book “The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage” which is part of the series titled “The Gospel for Life”. If you enjoy this quotes, please feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!
“While marriage is certainly of concern to the church, it has a scope of consequence that goes beyond just the four walls of a church. By definition, marriage is a public institution, which means it serves the public good by helping facilitate access to the common good. In other words, marriage is for everyone––not just Christians.”– Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samesexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“..marriage is a creational institution ordained by God meant for the furtherance of the human race, the stability of society, and the satisfaction of deep longing for relationship and intimacy that exists between men and women.”– Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samesexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“We might say that marriage’s purpose exists on two levels. First, it’s a human institution intricately woven into the nature of existence and human civilization. Second, in the Bible, marriage is depicted as an earthly shadow of the most important truth of the universe: the gospel of Jesus Christ.”– Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samesexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“By echoing the “one flesh” union of Genesis 2, Jesus is putting the purpose of marriage on full display: that men and women unite comprehensively together in marriage through a physical, spiritual, and emotional bond that is oriented to and fulfilled by the creation and rearing of children.”– Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samesexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“Marriage is ultimately Christian because God created it, but it isn’t exclusive to Christians right now, since God designed marriage to be available to all of creation.” — Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samesexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“The “one flesh” symbolism is a powerful metaphor for how profound the union is of a man and woman. Man and woman fit together in a way unique to their complementary design. This simple story captures the essence of every human society; for at the foundation of every society is the union of one man and one woman. For from man and woman comes the only possibility for the continuation of mission and society through the bearing of children.” — Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samesexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“The Bible is silent on offering any constructive case for same-sex marriage because the Bible’s definition of marriage prohibits the very concept of same-sex marriage. Looking at all that the Bible says on marriage, same-sex marriage simply isn’t fathomable without contorting and twisting the Bible beyond the bounds of reason.” — Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“Marriage isn’t just about children. But neither is marriage just about adult romance. It isn’t just about deep emotional connection. Marriage is ultimately about the glory of God in the gospel.”– Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage